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Thread: Developing 5x7 B&W negatives

  1. #1

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    Developing 5x7 B&W negatives

    I've just started using the 5x7 format for B&W landscapes. Can anyone give me some advice on developing methods. I developed my first batch of HP5+ negatives in dishes using a pyro developer, but its a long process in the dark!

    I've considdered drum or orbital processing but I'm concerned about using small volumes of developer and not getting even development. ...or should I stick with the dishes?

  2. #2

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    Developing 5x7 B&W negatives

    Tray development (dishes) is still the best way for small numbers.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  3. #3
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Developing 5x7 B&W negatives

    IUt depends on what you call "small numbers" of negatives. I run a JOBO ATL 230 using Expert Drums. The 3006 Drum habndles 6 5x7 negatives and, IMO gives you the evenest most consistant development of any method available. Similar possibilities exist for other 'tube' processors such as Wing Lynchand PhotoTherm.

  4. #4

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    Developing 5x7 B&W negatives

    On a session I might only take 6 or 8 frames and then develop 2 at a time.

    Using the drum system, are you using a pyra developer and what volume of devloper would you use.

  5. #5

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    Developing 5x7 B&W negatives

    I use about 400ml for two sheets of 5x7 in a print drum. It's pretty close to the limit for the amount of developer that the setup can use. Not the drum which can hold much more but the cup in the lid you pour the chemicals into. I'm thinking of using a film lid instead for 8x10. But that will pour the chemicals straight into the tank. OTOH it's never been an issue with smaller formats.

  6. #6

    Developing 5x7 B&W negatives

    I shoot loads of 5x7 film and process the sheets, 12 at a time, in two JOBO 3006 tanks. Chemical use is maybe 600 ml per tank. If you put the JOBO tank on a Beseler or Omega rotating base for their drums -- you can buy them for $25 apiece -- the negatives practically develop themselves.

    Sanders McNew

    www.mcnew.net

  7. #7

    Developing 5x7 B&W negatives

    Hi Tony,

    For that small number of sheets it might make more sense to try Phil Daivis' B.T.Z.S. tubes in a tempered tray of water. The end caps hold the proper amount of chems. You can also make your own from 2" black P.V.C. pipe(7" long) and end caps OR leave the end caps off and roll 2 tubes back and forth in a tray of developer. Only advantage to that is you can't scratch the film but you do get perfectly even development. With the caps on you can turn on the lights after the stop bath but I don't think full room light would be smart.

    Good luck and have fun with it.

  8. #8

    Developing 5x7 B&W negatives

    I second Dan's suggestion on pyrocat-HD. Especially if you use DBI as the film is desensitised by the developer. I use semistand development. I made my own tanks out of 1/4 in clear acrylic. 10.5 X10.5 X2.5 inside dimensions works out just right for 4 8X10 hangers with 4 ltrs of developer using 1.5-1-200 ratio, on Sandy's suggestion, works great for me. I also use night vision goggles for DBI. Using semistand I don't have to stay in the room with them all the time.

  9. #9

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    Developing 5x7 B&W negatives

    Thanks John, I've just been having a look at the pyrocat-HD developer...I'll give it a try.

    I've not used DBI...how reliable is this method and what light are you using? Dan mentioned a green safe light.

    I'm not sure the camera shops here in the Uk sell night vision goggles!

  10. #10

    Developing 5x7 B&W negatives

    Deep tanks are expensive to fill, but once up and running are cheap to maintain and nothing goes wrong.

    I was standing in line at Chicago Calumet with a hangar rack and a few old Kodak hangars. I was going to buy some additional hangars. A photographer came past and asked if I used Jobo. My answer was color neg 4x5 only. Black and white still goes on hangars .

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